Happy birthday Leontyne Price!

Mary Violet Leontyne Price (February 10, 1927) is an American soprano and one of the first African Americans to become a featured artist with the Metropolitan Opera. As a lirico spinto, "pushed lyric" soprano, Price was especially suited for roles from Verdi and Puccini, and several operas by Mozart. For her contributions to classical music, Leontyne Price has been honored with nineteen Grammy Awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award, and tthe Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds."


Happy Birthday Bob Marley!


Bob Marley (6 February 1945 – 11 May 1981) was a Jamaican musician known for bringing reggae and the Rastafari movement to worldwide attention. Marley began his singing career in a band called The Wailers (1963-1974) which later turned into Bob Marley & The Wailers (1974–1981). His records have been the most famous and best-selling reggae albums of all time, with compilation album Legend (1984) reaching over 25 million copies worldwide. Some of Bob Marley's most well known songs include I Shot The Sheriff, No Woman No Cry, Redemption Song, One Love, Get Up Stand Up and Jamming.

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Happy birthday Dave Davies!

David Russell Gordon Davies (February 3, 1947) is an English rock musician and the lead guitarist and vocalist for The Kinks. Along with his brother Ray Davies, and their friend Pete Quaife, Dave was a founding member of The Kinks. The band's drummer Mick Avory completed the quartet, although his tumultuous relationship with Dave eventually led to Avory leaving the group in the mid 1980s. In 1967, Davies released his first solo single, "Death of a Clown" which was co-written with his brother. Davies' first true solo studio album was Bug, in 2002, followed by Fractured Mindz in January 2007.

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"Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can only be felt if you don't set any condition." -Arthur Rubinstein

arthur-rubinstein-1950Happy Birthday Arthur Rubinstein!

Arthur Rubinstein (January 28, 1887 – December 20, 1982) was a Polish-American classical pianist who is widely regarded as one of the great musicians of the twentieth century. Rubinstein is known especially for his masterful interpretation of Frédéric Chopin. His concert career spanned eight decades. Rubinstein's musical prowess as well as his ability to speak eight languages, were largely attributed to his self-described photographic memory. Once, Rubinstein learned the whole of César Franck's Symphonic Variations during his train ride to the concert. Without a piano, he learned the passages by playing them on his lap.

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Virtuoso is the 'Trivial Pursuit' of classical music buffs which means that, like old-school Trivial Pursuit (not the 2012 edition which probably includes a category on Ke$ha. If you don't know who that is, breathe a sigh of relief), you probably won't enjoy this game unless you feel pretty confident you'll win. Virtuoso includes the "audition" which is the lightning round designed to make you sweat just as you would playing for a spot in your top choice orchestra. The dice are based on musical time signatures. The overall design is based on the visual language of violins and pianos. Chances are, if you know any serious musicians, you'll recognize them as the competitive sort. Go ahead and bookmark this page for their next birthday gift, and then prepare for the musical smackdown of your life.

Published in Best of the Web

Happy Birthday, Etta James!


Etta James (January 25th, 1938 - January 20th, 2012) was a legendary American singer who performed in the genres of jazz, gospel, blues, soul and rock'n'roll. She is remembered for her many pop hits including: At Last, Roll With Me Henry, Somethings Got A Hold On Me and I'd Rather Go Blind. James' successful career and catalog of 28 studio albums won her six Grammys and seventeen Blues Music Awards. Her life was laced with sadness as she struggled with addiction and drug abuse, but her comeback with album The Seven Year Itch in the late 1980s proved her to be one of the strongest personalities in American music and landed her in many top greatest singers of all time lists.

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Creative studio "finally" bring you this beautiful short video about the complexity of music, set to a sharp and stunning soundtrack. Learn about everything from soundwaves to overtones and dissonance to frequency in this short and touching motion piece below.

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Sony unveiled their new waterproof walkman with build-in mp3 player at tech convention CES this winter. While they just look like simple ear-buds, they actually contain the whole mp3 player inside them. The buds have been designed for fitness (healthy people who exercise). The waterproof build means they are perfect for swimmers who just can't swim without some Katy Perry blasting in their ears, or for modern day Gene Kellys who want to be singin' and dancin' in the rain.

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Happy Birthday Alfred Brendel,  Maurizio Pollini, and Arturo Benedetti Michangeli!


Take note, musical parents: January 5 seems to be a good day for the birth of prolific pianists! Today is the birthday of three: Alfred Brendel, Maurizio Pollini, and Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli.

Published in Today's Birthday
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 14:32

Your Birthday Happiness Is Under Copyright Law

Graphic by Greg Harrison.

You may think the Happy Birthday song is as old as time. It is. You may think you have the right to sing it to your friends (or yourself) publically at any time. You don't. "Happy Birthday To You" is under copyright law and has been since 1935.  The company that owns the rights makes up to $2 million a year from the joyful tune's appearance in media. The Creative Commons are currently in the midst of holding a competition for music-makers worldwide to create a new song that will become even more popular. While it's a grand ambition, world famous songs aren't usually forced into eternal popularity, so we will see how this progresses. Until then, be very careful when using this classic song, and don't have a happy birthday just in case.

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